Success Stories

Utah’s School to Work Program Hosts Successful Community of Practice

Last week, the YES! Center staff attended a Community of Practice, hosted by our Utah PIE state partners. The YES! Center staff kicked off the day with a welcome and quick exercise. Attendees were asked to describe a positive strength or quality that they have that they would want an employer or educator to know about them – in one word! Their answers created the word cloud pictured below. How cool? The YES! Center staff concluded by showing the trailer for Intelligent Lives, a film created by Dan Habib. We heard from several attendees that the trailer gave them the chills.

Currently, Utah’s School to Work Program works with five different schools throughout the state. The event included teachers, administrators, VR counselors, parents, employment specialist providers, Department of Workforce Services WIOA Youth Counselors, and others involved in the program. They participated in several discussions about project timelines, recording Discovery stages, and creating Positive Personal Profiles. Some attendees volunteered to share Positive Personal Profiles that their students created using this format.

Groups holding discussions in a meeting room
Attendee break into groups to discuss the project and moving it forward.

Group discussions were held. Attendees broke into small groups to answer the following questions:

  • What helps teachers to prepare students to be great job candidates?
  • What helps the project stay cohesive and successful?
  • What helps us meet the project deadline?
  • What helps parents believe and engage?
  • What helps providers successfully place students in a job of choice by the time of exit?
  • How has your job with the School to Work Program changed over time?

When the day concluded, attendees left feeling organized and reinvigorated. It was a productive day for all! Utah’s School to Work Program hosts a Community of Practice semi-annually in the spring and fall. For more information about the event, contact Kelie Hess at

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